Celebrating Mother’s Day

As I consider how I choose to celebrate holidays my goal is to “Redeem the Day”. I desire to teach Christ through the holidays. My question, then, is “How can Christ be honored through celebrating this holiday?” Mother’s Day is not a Biblical holiday, however the concept of honoring your mother is: “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you (Exodus 20:12, NIV)”.The values of Mother’s Day line up easily with biblical teaching.

I can’t demand honor from my children. The command in the Bible is to honor my father and my mother, not to demand honor from my children. My responsibility is to honor my parents and to create an environment for my children that allows them to learn this commandment for themselves. So, how can I honor my parents? It can be a card and flowers. It can be a nice dinner. It can be listening respectfully to a story already told, advice already given (and not asked for), viewpoints I may disagree with and imperfections that irritate. It may be taking a step toward forgiveness and possibly reconciliation. Honor is a transforming discipline that beautifies a person’s character the more it is practiced. But it’s not easy. Mother’s Day is a good opportunity to consider if and how a mother, or mother figure, can be honored. Mother’s Day can also be a very complicated holiday emotionally. I appreciate Amy Young’s message in An Open Letter to Pastors {a non-mom speaks about Mother’s Day} as she seeks to encourage sensitivity to the many unique situations and emotions this holiday can draw out.

As for celebrating the holiday with my family I’ve decided that, as delightful as a “day off” would be while Daddy cares for the boys, I want to celebrate inclusively with my family. Ok, in all honesty, I like to sleep in some if given the chance… I’m so not a morning person! But, for the rest of the time I want to celebrate with my children rather than apart from them.

Here are some fun ideas I’ve seen for celebrating Mother’s Day that should work well with small children. In my mentioning them here I’m bookmarking them for the future, as these are ideas I would like to do but haven’t done yet. Here they are:

  1. A mother’s day journal – This idea from Baby Gizmo Mom’s Best Friend is a wonderful and frugal way to keep mother’s day remembrances through the years! This journal could include a picture of the family each year, a note of appreciation and love from family members, a drawing, and/or perhaps a simple interview “about mom” each year (see #9 below for ideas).

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  1. Having a tea party – It’s nice to sit down, eat finger foods and pretend to be elegant every now and then!
  1. Going out to eat with the family – Go somewhere that’s family friendly! Enjoy not having to cook and clean up, and be sure to tip generously if tipping is involved – thank you to all that work in food services on this day!
  1. Scheduled appreciation activities – Follow this suggestion from Parents.com and schedule some time for hugs! Create a schedule with set times for games, silliness and hugs! One o’clock, time to hop around the table and give mom a hug! Two fifteen, let’s sing “Happy Mother’s Day to You” (to the tune of Happy Birthday)! Three forty-five, now we’ll play “Mother Says”!

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    1. Read a book together – We love books! There are lots of great books out there that focus on a mother loving her children. Here are some that I enjoy and can suggest for Mother’s Day:
      1. Devotion – The books listed above can be used as an easy bridge to talk about God’s love for us. Just as these mothers love their children, our God loves us uniquely and sees us individually (Psalm 139:14, John 10:3,14-15), he loves us with unchanging love (Lamentations 3:22, James 1:17), and he pursues us with his love (Romans 5:8). Some classic devotions from the Scripture that could be chosen for this day are the stories of Eve, Ruth, Hannah, Mary, 1 Corinthians 13, Psalms 139… This short list is not intended to be comprehensive, so I welcome other suggestions!
      1. Appreciation for mothers, grandparents or other mother figures in our lives – Most of us are blessed to have someone in our life that nurtures, guides and/or mentors us that we can show appreciation for. Let’s be thankful for these people! The ways we can find to appreciate people are as diversified as the people we appreciate. Cards, flowers, phone calls, candies, crafts, and meals are classics. Homemade cards can be done ahead of time, too, to offset some of the expense of cards in the store. Other ways to show appreciation could be servicing (cleaning, pulling weeds), creating a home movie, giving a good book, or just spending time together!

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      1. Plant flowers in garden or pots – On the theme of nurturing growth, this seems like it could be a fun tradition! Mother’s Day could be a day to plant flowers together or get the garden growing.
      1. About “me” interview – Put together some questions to ask the kids about Mom. Here are a few ideas:
        1. How old is mom?
        2. What is mom’s favorite thing to do/ color/ food/ book/ place to visit…?
        3. If you had $1000 to spend for mom on mother’s day, how would you spend it?
        4. What is your favorite thing to do with mom?
        5. How does mom show that she loves you?
        6. If mom were an animal what would she be?
        7. If mom were a superhero what would her powers be?
      1. Spend time together (games, walk, etc.) – These moments where I just have some fun with my kids are so precious. Mother’s Day is a good reminder to just stop and play and watch their eyes light up with joy. I need these times to store away in my memory bank and they do, too!
      1. Don’t forget to take a picture with the kids!

What I actually did for Mother’s Day:

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Fingerprint hearts! So cute! I wrote the names on the left side but used a paper to cover it for privacy in this photo.

I created these cute little fingerprint hearts as gifts for the grandmothers and sent them out with a little card. Actually, I made these for Valentine’s Day, but it’s taken this long to get them sent out!

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We took a picture with me DSC_0949and the kids (I definitely want to make this a tradition, too), and, yes, I was able to sleep in a little bit. At church the boys made these special Mother’s Day cards and they are just so precious. The rest of the day was spent enjoying family time together.

Happy Mother’s Day! And thank you to all those who, in the same spirit as our Lord, seek to mentor and/or encourage those around them, be they small children or grown, who proclaim good news to the afflicted, who bind up the brokenhearted, who proclaim liberty to captives, who release prisoners from darkness, who proclaim the Lord’s favor, who comfort those who mourn, and who seek beauty, joy, and praise. You are greatly appreciated and your worth is immeasurable.